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The Austin 100: Kazka

Courtesy of the artist

Hometown: Kyiv, Ukraine

Genre: Pop

Why We're Excited: The electro-pop band KAZKA has participated in — but fallen short of winning — both the Eurovision Song Contest and the Ukrainian edition of X-Factor. But the group, having lost those battles, clearly won the war: It soon parlayed its TV exposure into massive hits, with the official video for "Plakala" notching more than 300 million views on YouTube. As a result, KAZKA rerecorded the song in English, but be sure to chase down the vastly superior Ukrainian-language version, which only benefits from the slinky sense of mystery it evokes.

Listen to KAZKA's "Plakala (Cry)"

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)